Guitar Hero III strums up $1 billion

Activision touts 2007 game as first multiplatform console game to rack up nine digits in worldwide retail sales; series boasts 21 million song downloads.


Last January, then-independent publisher Activision announced that the Guitar Hero series--which it purchased in 2006 for nearly $100 million--had generated $1 billion in sales. This month, the now-half of Activision Blizzard announced that it has sold $1 billion worth of units of a single game in the rhythm-game franchise, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.

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Although Activision Blizzard's World of Warcraft has generated more than $1 billion in revenue thanks to its 11.5-million plus monthly subscriptions, Guitar Hero III is the first to reach nine-digit figure in worldwide retail sales alone. It was helped to the milestone by the game's various configurations, which included a la carte software and pricier guitar-peripheral bundles.

News of the $1 billion milestone first surfaced at last week's Consumer Electronics Show, when Activision publishing president Mike Griffiths mentioned the figure. According to UK-based Edge Magazine, Griffiths also revealed that to date, 21 million songs have been download through Guitar Hero games, 9 million less than the rival Rock Band series. The executive also reportedly said that more than 141,000 songs had been composed and uploaded via Guitar Hero World Tour, the new multi-instrument installment in the series.

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Avatar image for Ozzie234

Gh1 and 2 was great on the ps2. But Gh2 on Xbox was even better, with the additional in-game songs and DLC. Then entered Gh3 -- in retrospect the best Guitar Hero game, with the best engine released to this day!! (allows for super hard songs + the somewhat lose hopo window is more like playing hopos on a guitar for real). Why did Activision/Neversoft go this (rock) band sh*t GHWT thingy????? Let the real forthcoming Gh4 be a continuation from Gh3!! Guitar Hero should be a GUITAR game. And a hard as hell one on expert level. You know -- real oldschool. The way we like it. :)

Avatar image for grlew

Its official gimmicks sell the Wii, guitar hero need I go on

Avatar image for frogiggy323

Isn't that also with free downloads included? Rock band only includes purchased downloads.

Avatar image for Spartan_418

@keyser27 sorry to sound nitpicky, but the "insert # here" digits status refers to the number of zeros after the first digit in a number, not the total number of digits. Everyone does that- not just Gamespot. I million is always referred to as "six digits", despite "1,000,000" actually having 7.

Avatar image for keyser27

@FFuematsafan Can't people realize that joining the Navy and trying to get into the SEALS is cheaper than playing SOCOM? Besides, I don't know where you got YOUR guitar, but if you spent under $200 for a guitar + amp you haven't played enough to put strings on it. Besides, you can't swing a dead cat in a bar without hitting 5 guitar players. Who cares? I'd rather listen to an idiot playing a halfway decent song and knowing it's just for fun than listen to some jerk fool around on a real guitar thinking they are any good. And at parties? They are NEVER any good, just think they are.

Avatar image for keyser27

$1 billion in revenue thanks to its 11.5-million plus monthly subscriptions, Guitar Hero III is the first to reach nine-digit figure in worldwide retail sales alone. Uhm. 100 million is 9 digits. 1 Billion is a 1 + 9 zeroes. That would be 10. I guess if they were dumb enough to give GTA4 a 10, counting TO 10 may be out of their league as well.

Avatar image for coruscant

Bring back GH3 type guitar hero games, not band-centered ones or band games like world tour!

Avatar image for atarigrad

Do you guys know how to read, First off It was Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock not World Tour that sold 1 billion dollars in copies. Second For the joker who made the quote about Rock band not being around without guitar hero. Who do you think created Guitar Hero. Uh yea Harmonix who created Rock Band as well. I feel less intelligent for even having to explain this.

Avatar image for HelIWithoutSin

mikemaj82 It's also moronic when people don't realize that Harmonix, the creators of Guitar Hero I, II, and Rocks the 80's, are also the creators of Rock Band 1 & 2.

Avatar image for Memoryitis

holy moly

Avatar image for DontEatCream

My gawd... one BILLION dollars. A few more of those, and Activison-Blizzard can buy their own Detroit-based car company. Zing!

Avatar image for okassar

Wow,turns out RB didn't come out on top after all...I still think RB and RB2 are better than GH:WT,I mean,not by a huge margin,but I like the songs,the notes,and the feel better you know.Oh well,both are fun games and serve their purpose.

Avatar image for Eat_My_Shorts35

@osiris and tx most wanted and cameron rules: they mean its the first to get to even 100,000,000 dollars, let alone 1,000,000,000

Avatar image for mikemaj82

It's so moronic how people are saying GH copied RB by allowing the use of drums and a mic. Hmmm...Rock Band wouldn't even exist if the first Guitar Hero never came out.

Avatar image for osiris

1,000,000,000 = 9 digits... supersmooth, haha

Avatar image for caleb_hill

it works great as a finger warm-up for real guitar

Avatar image for wiifan001

I got a copy and I don't regret it :D

Avatar image for cameronrules36

1,000,000,000 10 digits

Avatar image for TXMostWanted

9 Digit Figure...$1 billion dollars??? Someone needs to go back to school lol

Avatar image for patriots2871

great game

Avatar image for Penalty_of_Hero

That's a lot of money. Social gaming + download content = serious money.

Avatar image for LordInvernus

@FFuematsufan - Not if you buy a decent guitar and decent amp it wont. If you bought a $200 guitar, you might as well just buy guitar hero cause you aren't serious about playing the guitar then.

Avatar image for guitardude1243

Maybe that is a good thing, have you heard some of the bands today? Complete jokes. Guitar Hero is not always a bad thing. I was pretty much a wannabe white boy rapper when I was younger, but after playing Guitar Hero I decided to buy a guitar myself and from there I have become an obsessed guitar freak.

Avatar image for FFuematsufan

Can't people realize that buying a guitar and an amp is going to be much cheaper in the long run than buying guitar hero games year after year?

Avatar image for Packfan104L4

The number of songs downloaded is inflated because it includes the songs uploaded from their crappy editor. I'm sorry, but playing a crappy version of the Mario brothers theme shouldn't count as a download...

Avatar image for Willy-Wilks_777

If this is true it is really concerning. Because more and more people are buying Guitar Hero and sticking to it and choose not to play an actual instrument. I know it is just a game but all I am saying is that in the future there is going to be hardly any bands. You may think i'm a hypocrite as I play guitar hero a lot but i am now trying to learn the guitar. And World Tour didn't impress me at all, so many crappy old songs which arn't fun to play and not enough metal.

Avatar image for better-than-U

I know alot of people who own guitar hero but these figues cannot be true;I feel activision are just making these numbes up to make their game seem more attractive.I have Rock Band (1) and guiar heo 3;I find guitar hero funner because it is challenging and has a more exciting pace to it;But i find Rock Band way funner with a group of friends (even though all my friends play easy/medium) and the setlist is alot better;But i find ock band really boaring on my own.

Avatar image for Daytona_178

WiFit is the most grossing game,,,,think about it!

Avatar image for madmanborg

I love how they make it seem that guitar hero 3 made 1 billion on it's own and we know thats not true. Fudging the facts to make the game seem better is an epic fail on activisions part. it took all the guitar hero games to hit that mark. And rockstar_88 is right. Those games came first and Konami has the rights to rhythem games thats why there is a huge lawsuit by them against activsion and HMX

Avatar image for rockstar_88

@ dastud2007 I can't help it. If video games had radiation, I'd be dying from too much exposure right now.

Avatar image for deactivated-57fce817a4cf5

My little bro has the one with the whole band. We have a great time with that one. Hard though as I have short fingers so I usually end up on vocals. Hilarious!

Avatar image for ghostface26

@ joshrocks2245 As much as I hate emo music, that's still not fair to say when comparing both soundtracks between the game. Hell, Rock Band has metal. Have you ever played Visions by Abnormality? That song is so brutal and hurts so much to play, I freaking love it, lol. Seriously though, when it comes down to difficulty, it would actually be very hard to judge that. Guitar hero has some hard songs...but they are overcharted. Why don't you play Visions or one of the top tier songs. Pain Attack is hell, but I love the song. And Painkiller, damn, did not expect to see that on the disc. As much as I dislike emo, Harmonix totally made it up with all the metal they put in the game. They even have Testament damnit. Wow, long post, whatever. Just look at it this way, more genres, more people to please.

Avatar image for ASG_

Well, piratedrunk, there are still mainstream kids who go buy ghwt when rb is far superior.

Avatar image for dastud2007

stop making up games rockstar88, lol

Avatar image for rockstar_88

@ doomsdaydave11 - "Name one game that came out before GH that involves pressing button combos according to rhythms...." Umm...I guess you've never heard of Konami's Guitar Freaks? Don't forget Guitaroo Man, Pappa the Rapper, Frequency, and Amplitude. Yes, these all came out BEFORE Guitar Hero did, and although they may not have been as earth shattering as the first two GH games, the were exceptionally good games for their time (especially Guitaroo Man, but not Guitar Freaks).

Avatar image for dastud2007

$1 billion dollars is 10 digits not 9, lol

Avatar image for FarmFreshDX

Why do they point out the guitar peripherals as an extra boost when most 360 games cost $10 more just because they can.

Avatar image for DeadlySpartanII

they better make second guitar for rock band on the wii, wasted 300 for rock band and cant have a base player >..> THATS NOT A ROCK BAND!!!

Avatar image for mogwart36

i've love guitar hero,but have never played rock band yet.i heard the drum set was better for GH,whether that is true or not i dont know.the soundracks are pretty good for GH,they just need to get more metal tracks on board from bands like: all that remains,rob zombie,or some real skullcrusher tracks from other metal bands

Avatar image for Agent_Smith343

going with Strategygamer, I play Rock Band with friends, I play guitar hero alone or to show off : D

Avatar image for Holyknight_CJ

$1 billion is a ten-digit figure.

Avatar image for Strategygamer22

People, stop saying that Guitar Hero sucks and Rock Band is the greatest. It depends on what you expect from the game your buying. If you buy solely for multiplayer, buy RB. If you want DLC, buy RB. If you want a game that has a decent single player mode and some challenge, buy GH. Even though RB and RB2 have better soundtracks, I prefer GH because of the challenge and the fact I hardly ever play multiplayer.

Avatar image for onething77

That is a lot of money. And I believe them. I don`t know anybody who doesn`t own GH: Legends of Rock.

Avatar image for Justinge3

Everyone quit being fanboys. We all know that neversoft can make bad notecharts, but guitar hero 3 grew on me a lot. Its one of my favorite guitar hero games, the only better one being gh2. I only play guitar, not drums or mic. I just like how challenging gh2 and gh3 were overall. I like rb2 a bit better than ghwt (only seeing them as guitar games) but not as much as the good old days playing gh2 and gh3. wow that went no where lol. Just sayin that it doesnt matter if harmonix or neversoft makes it, theyre still fun games.

Avatar image for Garren666

The reason it has made this much money (IMO at least) is at the time majority of people already had 2 guitar controllers (such as myself), RB1 was a couple months away (or several months if you lived outside the U.S.) and we bought it to occupy the time until then (again myself included). RB in the end will be the winner; better game play, better note charts (songs from any of the GHs always have a better chart IMO), cooler looking instruments, a developer who delivers on promises of DLC (500 tracks available in 11 months is pretty steller, let's hope for 1000 by 2010).

Avatar image for lannyboy334

i liked this game a lot, it was a lot more of fun to play with just 2 people, it' just an extension of the guitar hero series, it wasn't meant to be rock band, thus 2 people, GUITAR hero, not rock BAND -_-

Avatar image for Media_Mind


Avatar image for anarchy31

Guitar Hero doesn't deserve this. ROCK BAND FOREVER!!

Avatar image for senorbusyman

the only reason why this sucky version of guitar hero sold more its cuz of the little kids that make their parents buy the game, & we all know that little kids don't know crap about video games, and because the price dropped from $100-$50 guitar hero 3 bundles...but i still prefer rock band over GUITARD ZERO!!!

Avatar image for MysticDynamite

Good for them. Even if you dislike Guitar Hero for "being an excuse not to play real guitar", you have to acknowledge how it made the rhythm games genre more accessible to the general public around the world, not just in Japan. Besides, I play both a real guitar and on Guitar Hero, and the games are great ways to play songs with friends who aren't musically proficient.